I delight in spending time alone in my garden. It is a refuge from the outside world, a shaded sliver of existence where I shrug off the constraints of the passage of time. Consumed within its beauty, the boundaries of the world begin to blur.
This past week has been the hottest on record, with temperatures soaring near to 50 degrees Celsius if you take into consideration the humidex quotient – and trust me, it was next to impossible to ignore!
Rain was greatly called upon, yet for the most part the call went unheeded. A few drops here and there, often misinterpreted as perspiration, dropped from the sky,a goading punishment to those who complained about the cool wet Spring that we had been graced with.
I did my best to keep the kids happy, or at the very least moist, so as not to droop in the sweltering heat, but even this proved taxing to say the very least! A recently departed gardening confidante ‘M’ once commented that I would make a lousy gardener if I were stranded in the desert: ‘My God man, what were you thinking choosing all of those rare and usual plants that demand water on a near daily basis! What happens when the dustbowl of summer descends?’ If anyone’s words would come back to haunt me, it would have to her hers! Somewhere she is hoarding massive rain-cloud formations, eking out rainfall in drops, all the while her thunderous laughter haunts me! ‘But ‘M’ look how the blue and purple play off the fabulous chartreuseness of the Filipendula. Would you rather I plant Petunias? On second thought, do not answer that question!’
I snagged myself three new Helleborus x hybrida ‘Cotton Candy’ [part of the brilliant Winter Jewels Series from famed breeder Marietta O’Byrne – click here for she and husband Ernie’s fabulous Eugene, Oregon website!] from one of our suppliers this week, and as a result, had to do some creative revamping of the R&U border to make room for them. I removed swathes of Tricyrtis hirta [the spotted ones] and a Thalictrum ‘Hewlitt’s Double’ that had outgrown its home, not to mention that it was usurped by its Cinderella cousin T. delavayi ‘Splendide’ in recent years which is located in the same border. [As a good parent, I try to steer away from sibling rivalry whenever possible!] The genus Helleborus has become a revisited weakness for me! I am speaking about them at the September meeting of our local Horticultural Society, in an effort to promote their beauty and potential for shaded woodland gardens! Methinks that ‘Cotton Candy’ [photo courtesy of northwestgardennursery.com] will make a lasting impression!